What this skeleton told us: Evidence
An older man and 179 cm tall (5 feet 10 inches). Tooth decay and plaque are present on the teeth, and infected tooth roots and gum disease are evident in the jaws. Some cysts are present on the bones (fluid filled lumps) and there is some degenerative joint disease.
Interpretation of the evidence
In Anglo-Saxon Britain, it is likely that if a man survived childhood, he could expect to live a fairly long life, at least into middle-age, provided he maintained good health and was not killed in battle. This man was well above average height for the period and achieved his full life expectancy, indicating that he was well-nourished and in good general health. However, we should remember that humans are very good at adapting to challenging times! In common with many of the people buried at the Bowl Hole, dental hygiene appears to have been poor for this older man, and tooth decay indicates sugar in his diet. His gum disease and plaque may have led to bad breath, and he may have had pain from the root infections. Pain from degeneration in his joints could also have been a challenge.
Counsellor. From Ġeþeaht “divising”.